U.S. Employs Millions In Energy Efficiency

Published On
Mar 15, 2017

When you think efficiency, you think saving money. As it turns out, efficiency is pretty good at making money, too. According to a recent report released by energy-efficiency advocates E2 and E4TheFuture, the efficiency economy may be much larger than anyone thought.

Released in December, “Energy Efficiency Jobs in America” credits efficiency with employing 1.9 million jobs nationwide. The number is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Compared to other clean-energy sectors, such as renewable energy, electric vehicles and clean fuels, efficiency is the leading employer. Efficiency jobs include high-efficiency lighting manufacturing, Energy Star appliance manufacturing, and heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) retrofitting.

Ranking each of these industries by number of jobs, HVAC tops the list with more than 814,000 workers who spend part or all of their time working on energy efficiency. Almost 328,000 Americans work in the energy-efficient lighting industry, while another 292,000 work in advanced materials and insulation. About 162,000 Americans help build Energy Star appliances.

The report also examines efficiency jobs by state. California leads the nation, followed by Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, New York, Georgia, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

A variety of factors contribute to a state’s success: population, the size of its construction industry, weather, policies, etc. According to the report, California and Massachusetts have some of the best energy-efficiency policies in the country.

Researchers involved in the study are optimistic about the future of energy-efficiency jobs in the United States. Phillip Jordan, vice president and principal researcher at BW Research Partnership, the company that conducted the surveys for the study, said “the sector is booming,” and that energy-efficiency employers that were interviewed indicated “they plan to hire more workers in the coming year.”

There are some uncertainties, especially as the government’s role is concerned. Jordan said employers are closely watching state and federal policies.

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at richardlaezman@msn.com.

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